Since their inception in the 1930s, steroids have been praised for their efficiency. They are outlawed in sports, discussed by experts, made illegal by governments, and criticized by the media and public opinion. Despite their well-publicized history, few people talk about the risks of steroids.
A variety of side effects can occur when we misuse steroids. However, these side effects range from minor to life-threatening problems. But, most of them are reversible if the patient stops taking drugs. Others may be permanent or semi-permanent.
What Are Steroids?
Steroids are a human-made version of hormones that are made naturally in the human body. Do not confuse anabolic steroids with corticosteroids. Some athletes use anabolic steroids to build up muscles. People use corticosteroids to reduce overactive immune responses and swelling.
Anabolic steroids used by athletes are synthetic forms of testosterone, a male hormone. Both men and women contain testosterone naturally. Throwing one’s testosterone out of balance may have a wide-ranging effect.
Are Steroids Harmful?
Some of the steroids can be extremely dangerous to those who take them. Conversely, doctors use some types to support patients with inflammatory disorders. Although, these types are categorized as corticosteroids. However, they are not the same as the most dangerous version: anabolic steroids.
Anabolic steroids are sometimes referred to as “juice” or “roids”. These are usually male hormone synthetic forms, testosterone. You can use it legally to induce puberty or help patients who have AIDS or cancer.
In addition to those prescribed these drugs for medical reasons, people abuse anabolics to improve their physical health, performance, and appearance. Common users of anabolic steroids are:
- Bodybuilders are looking to gain strength
- Athletes hoping to develop their skills
- People are trying to hurry up recovery from injuries
Now we will discuss the risks associated with the use of steroids.
1. Anabolic steroids
What are Anabolic Steroids?
Anabolic steroids include the male sex hormone testosterone and some other agents. Also, it promotes growth in many tissue types, especially bones and muscles. Anabolic effects also include improved red blood cell production.
Medically, anabolic steroids are used to treat the following:
- Delayed puberty in young boys
- Men’s hypogonadism and impotence
- Women’s breast cancer
- HIV weight loss disease
- Other problems with hormonal imbalance
Anabolic steroids can be injected, taken by mouth, or used externally.
What are the most common side effects that can happen with anabolic steroids?
There is a wide variety of severe side effects of anabolic steroid abuse. The use of steroids will alter natural hormone production in the body. Many side effects may be reversed once the medicines are stopped, but some, such as a deepened voice in women, may persist. Long-term side-effect data derive mainly from case reports and not from well-controlled, long-term epidemiological trials, which could be more reliable. So there are many risks associated with the use of steroids.
Common side effects of anabolic steroids can include:
- Extreme acne, oily skin, and hair
- Loss of hair
- Liver cancer, such as liver and cyst tumors
- Kidney and liver Disease
- Changed mood, irritability, increased aggression, depression, or suicidal tendencies
- Changes in cholesterol and other blood lipids
- Blood pressure is high
- Abnormal growth of mammary glands in males causing breast enlargement
- Reduction of testicles
- Absence of sperm in semen
- Menstrual irregularities of females
- Excessive facial or body hair (hirsutism), a deeper voice in women
- Stunned growth and height in teenagers
- Risk of virus or bacterial infections due to sterile injections of steroids.
Since steroids are also used for injections, there is also a chance of HIV or hepatitis infection from a sterile needle or syringe.
There are a lot of risks associated with steroids. They’re not right for you, either. Five people may take it and have no long-term problems with it. The sixth one might end up dead.
What are corticosteroids?
Corticosteroids imitate the effects of hormones that your body produces naturally in your adrenal glands. These are small glands that rest on the top of your kidneys. When prescribed at doses that exceed the limits of the body, corticosteroids suppress inflammation. This can minimize the signs and symptoms of inflammatory disorders, such as arthritis and asthma.
Corticosteroids also weaken your immune system. They also help control the circumstances under which the immune system wrongly attacks its own tissues.
How are corticosteroids used?
Doctors use corticosteroid medicines to treat rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, asthma, allergy, and many other diseases. They also treat Addison’s disease. It is a disorder in which the adrenal glands cannot produce even the body’s minimum amount of corticosteroid. These medicines also serve to suppress the immune response. It is helpful in the reduction of organ rejection in transplant recipients.
You can take corticosteroids:
- By mouth. Tablets, capsules, or syrups help treat inflammation and discomfort associated with many chronic diseases.
- By Inhaler and intranasal spray. These types help to regulate inflammation associated with asthma and nasal allergies.
- Topically. Creams and ointments can help cure a number of skin problems.
- Injection. This form is also used to treat muscle and joints’ signs and symptoms, such as pain and tendinitis inflammation.
What side effects can corticosteroids cause?
There are many risks associated with this type of steroids. Some of which can cause severe health issues. If you know what side effects are possible, you can take steps to control their effect.
- Corticosteroids are at risk of causing side effects, any of which can cause severe health issues. If you know what side effects are possible, you can take steps to control their effect.
- Increased eye pressure (glaucoma)
- Fluid accumulation, which causes swelling of the lower legs
- High blood pressure
- Problems with mood swings, memory, and actions. And other neurological symptoms, such as confusion or delirium
- Weight gain, with fat deposits in your abdomen, your face, and the back of your neck.
- High blood sugar that can cause or worsen diabetes
- Increased risk of infection, especially with common bacterial, viral, and fungal microorganisms;
- Thinning of bones (osteoporosis) and fractures
- The development of suppressed adrenal gland hormones can result in a number of signs and symptoms. These include extreme fatigue, lack of appetite, nausea, and muscle weakness.
- Thin tissue, bruising, slower wound healing
- Fungal infection of the mouth (oral thrush)
- Topical corticosteroids may lead to thin skin, red skin lesions, and acne.
Corticosteroids can cause a variety of side effects. They can also relieve the inflammation, pain, and irritation of several various diseases. You should consult with the doctor to make decisions that minimize side effects. In this way, you can significantly benefit from a reduced risk of those problems.